If you are a UK citizen planning on moving to Canada, you will need to plan carefully for your move. One of the most important questions you will want to know the answer to is this: Will I be allowed to drive as soon as I arrive in Canada?
Differences in Each Canadian Province/Territory
UK citizens moving to Canada to live need to know that each Canadian Province and Territory issues its own driving licence to drivers. Fortunately, UK licence holders moving to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador can simply exchange their British driving licence issued by the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for a Canadian driving licence.
In order to qualify, you must be able to show proof of at least 24 months of licensed driving experience in the UK. If you have not been driving for the required length of time, you will be required to take a written and practical driving test in Canada.
According to the British High Commission in Ottawa, negotiations are underway to allow UK citizens to exchange their UK driving licences, in the same way as they can in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Currently, if you take up permanent residence in any of the other Canadian Provinces or Territories, authorities require you to take a written, as well as a practical driving test, to test your competence on the road.
Graduated Driving Licence System
Some Canadian Provinces have a graduated driving licence system in place for drivers. However, this system can take up to two years to gain a full Canadian driving licence. For more information and changes, continue to check back with the British High Commission in Ottawa.
If your UK driving licence was issued by DVLANI in Northern Ireland, you will not be allowed to exchange your licence for a full Canadian driving licence upon arrival in Canada. In addition, if the driver’s licensing authorities in Canada request that you authenticate, certify or validate your existing driving licence, you must refer to the appropriate issuing office in the UK. The British High Commission cannot help with this matter.
Most UK driving licence holders (apart from those issued in Northern Ireland) can exchange their licence for a Canadian driving licence if they move to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador. If you do not have at least 24 months driving experience, or you plan to move to a Canadian Province or Territory that does not have a reciprocal agreement with the UK, you will need to take a written and practical driving test.
British High Commission, Ottawa, UK in Canada. Canada-UK Driving Licences.